If you’ve got a gymnast in the family (whether they be a young newbie or an experienced veteran), you should know that their vigorous practicing schedule does not only include gym time- there’s much work to be done at home, as well.
Coming from a former gymnast herself, your own little gymnast will need to devote time for practicing day in and day out at home, so they can keep up with the skill level they need to be at. So, you’re going to need to invest in some at-home training gymnastics equipment to keep your gymnast at her absolute highest training level possible.
But, when you go to look at some equipment to purchase, you realize that the prices can be pretty ridiculous. You are definitely not prepared to pay such extreme prices, yet it’s not really an option to just skip out on the equipment all together.
You’re truly stuck between a rock and a hard place, so what do you do?
Well, you get creative is what you do!
And, the best, creative solution to get around paying crazy prices is to go ahead and do it yourself. Now, you may be wondering exactly how you’re going to build a piece of gymnastics equipment (how to build a gymnastics bar, for example).
But, luckily for you, I know of a few helpful DIY’s on how to build at-home gymnastics bar, and I’m happy to share one of the most common ones with you. So, here are a seven tips to guide you in your search for how to build a gymnastics bar:
- Two 12 foot 2x4s (construction grade pine lumber is recommended)
- One 10 foot 2×4
- Three 8 foot 2x4s
- 3 inch and 2.5 inch wood screws
- One 4 foot long, 3/4 inch wide bar (wooden or metal works, whatever is best for you)
- Two 4 inch threaded pipes*
- Four 3/4 inch couplers (also known as “bushings”)*
- Steel Washers
- Wood Glue
**Asterisks indicate that the item optional
- Saw (if you don’t have one or don’t feel the need to buy one, your local home improvement store may be able to cut it for you)
- Hole Saw (if you’re not sure what that is, it looks much like a drill bit, but with a wide end)
- Cordless Drill or Screwdriver
#1 Cutting and Building The Legs
Take the two 12 foot 2 by 4’s and cut them each into two 6 foot pieces. This will leave you with four 6 foot boards to work with.
Once you’ve completed the cutting process, grab two of the 6 foot boards you cut, and glue and screw them together (making sure that they’re face to face), using 2.5 inch wood screws and your wood glue.
This will give you a double 2×4, or a 4×4. Repeat this process with the remaining two boards and you’ll have the two 4×4 wood platforms that form your bar’s legs.
#2 Cutting The Feet
Now, take the 10 foot 2×4 board and cut it into two 5 foot pieces. These will form the bottom of your bar’s legs, or the feet.
At this point, you’re also going to want to take a minute to find the longest of your 8 foot boards (they will most likely vary in length) that will create your crossbars. Once you’ve found it, set it aside for later!
#3 Cutting The Leg Braces
Now, you’re going to want to cut the remaining two 8 foot boards and cut them into 3 foot pieces. Then, miter the ends to a 45 degree angle to allow them to act as a brace to the actual leg itself.
This should leave you with 4 leg brace boards in total, as well as two 2 foot scrap pieces that you can either deposit of, or utilize them for other projects.
#4 Drilling The Holes
Using the double 2×4 (4×4) legs you built earlier, measure and mark from the ground up where you want the bar to go.
It’s recommended at about chest height of the gymnast, of course factoring in the height of your mat as well
Now, drill a 1 1/8 inch hole through the face of the double 2x4s. Repeat this for other leg.
#5 Attaching The Feet and Leg Braces
Attach the 5 foot boards (the feet from step 2) to the double 6 foot boards (the legs from step 1) with 3 inch screws coming through from the bottom. Repeat for the other leg as well.
Then, attach the mitered 3 foot leg brace boards to either side (using two boards per side) of the main leg and the feet with 3 inch screws as well. Measure about 25 inches from either side to make sure they’re square.
#6 Attaching The Bar
Next, it’s time for the bar attachment part of this how to build a gymnastics bar instructional.
*For Wooden Bars– Put the bar through the holes on each side. You may then attach it with screws, ensuring that it’s strong and stable enough to support the weight of your gymnast.
*For Steel Bars– Put the bar through the holes on each side. Thread a coupler on both ends of the bar, then thread a short 4 inch bar to the end of each coupler. Add a steel washer to the end and fit the bar through the hole of the washer.
Add a washer to the outside of the leg, thread another coupler to be the outside cap, and securely tighten it with a wrench. Repeat this exact process for the other side.
#7 Attaching The Crossbars
You’re almost done! The final step is to attach the two crossbars for some extra security on your bar. To do so, take the 2×4 board you set aside earlier, measure the width between the two legs, and cut the board to size accordingly.
Attach half between the two sides on the front, and one on the back using at least 3″ screws. Once you’ve completed this final step, you have successfully built your own DIY gymnastics bar!
To sum it up
In conclusion, you shouldn’t ever feel forced to pay an overwhelming price for gymnastics bar, especially when all you need to do is find out how to construct it (like this very tutorial on how to build a gymnastics bar) yourself.
All these materials you can find at your local hardware or home improvement store, and here’s a fun fact: the cost of all the materials combined comes out to just under $40!
Why waste hundreds of unnecessary dollars for at-home equipment, simply because it has a logo on it, when you could pay $40, and have to use just a little more elbow grease? It’s a pretty simple decision.
Using this article on how to build a gymnastics bar as a reference, you’ll never have to stress yourself out about at-home gymnastics equipment again!